I’ll admit I’m not very good at covertly listening in to other people conversations. Although there are times when it’s impossible not to hear. Sometimes it’s hard to talk to my dining companion because I’m transfixed by a loud couple at the next table. I want to whip out my tiny notebook and make notes. But, that would be a bit conspicuous. Don’t you think?
Why do I find eavesdropping awkward?
Because I grew up in a tiny house with lots of siblings and nosy parents. Privacy was a luxury. The only place to talk or read without others listening in was down by the creek. No mobile phones then so forget about a private conversation on the one kitchen phone. Even with a cord that reached all the way to the coat closet, someone was listening.
But if I want my characters to be real, to have different personalities I need to get away from my desk. Mingle, listen and yes, eavesdrop.
Today, I read a great article, published in The Writing Cooperative, about how to accidentally, on purpose, listen in on strangers.